Dissertation: Media and Communications

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Alison Powell TW3.7.01J


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media and Communications (Data and Society), MSc in Media and Communications (Media and Communications Governance), MSc in Media and Communications (Research), MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Politics and Communication. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The aim of this dissertation is for students to pursue an independent piece of research within the field of media and communications following the guidelines provided in the MSc Dissertation Guide and the instructions by the School's staff members. The dissertation is usually a combination of theoretical enquiry and original empirical enquiry concerning an issue in the field of media and communications. On rare occasions it is based on a theoretical interrogation. Students are encouraged to select a topic that reflects the content of their MSc programme. In all cases, students must obtain the approval of their supervisors before embarking on any research. The dissertation must be word-processed. It should be not less than 10,000 words and not more than 12,000 words in length.


MC499.1: Compulsory Teaching and Supervision


(i) Dissertation symposiums: a two-hour symposium will be held towards the end of LT for all students and another will be held in ST.


(ii) Group Supervision Sessions: each supervisor holds three two-hour group supervision sessions for their supervisees: (i) early in LT, after supervisors have been allocated; (ii) towards the end of LT; (iii) week 5 or 6 of ST.

(iii) Individual Supervision Sessions: ad hoc sessions for each student and their supervisor that can be organised during term-time during feedback and consultation hours.

MC499.2: Dissertation Skills – Optional Sessions


(i) Lectures:

Two x 2-hour lectures in LT3 and LT5, on dissertation preparation skills (literature reviews, ethics, etc).


(ii) Workshops led by Graduate Teaching Assistants:

Three x 1.5-hour workshops in MT2, MT5 and MT9.

Three x 1.5-hour workshops in LT2, LT5 and LT9.

Places in these workshops are limited, students must attend all sessions in order to keep their place.

Formative coursework

Students are required to submit Ethics Checklists and Dissertation Plans to their supervisor in LT and ST.

Indicative reading

There are no formal reading lists, but students are encouraged to consult handbooks on how to write dissertations. In addition, students are advised to consult dissertations submitted in previous years for style and formatting purposes and to make sure that they are not replicating previous work.


Dissertation (100%, 12000 words).

Two hard copies of the dissertation must be submitted in August. Students are also required to upload their dissertation file(s) to Moodle by the same deadline.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 31.8
Merit 47.6
Pass 17.4
Fail 3.2

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2015/16: 230

Average class size 2015/16: 14

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course survey results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 62%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)